08008 Travel Guide
We've long fantasized about keyless hotel rooms where we could use our smartphone instead of a key card to enter the room. But the Hotel Alma in Barcelona in the Gothic Quarter is going way beyond that with a fingerprint recognition system.
It works like this--you arrive to check-in and in addition to collecting your credit card for incidentals and telling you about the room amenities (free WiFi, breakfast and access to the spa are included), the hotel takes a scan of your fingerprint. Then you can use your finger to open the door to your room at any time. No key cards needed and no worries about the card getting demagnetized in your purse or wallet. So. Cool. And it's also available at the hotel's sister hotel in Pamplona.
Of course, you can opt for a regular key if you think is too fancy for your tastes but we think it's a no-brainer. Rooms at the trendy, high-tech boutique hotel start at about 200 Euros a night. The hotel's website also has a voyeuristic video showing a hunky grey-haired "guest" (an actor, we think) doing various things in his room--waking up, putting on his shirt (!!!) and sitting down at the desk to do work. Hopefully, the fingerprint access will keep out peeping Toms.
[Photo: Hotel Alma/Facebook]
Last month when we hit up Barcelona we stayed in two hotels. The first was the crazy/sexy/cool Omm Hotel which we told you about last week. The second hotel was the less sexy and less cool Gallery Hotel. But we aren't trying to be dismissive here.
The Gallery was actually a wonderful, full-service hotel just across the street from the Omm with a helpful staff, spacious rooms, an abundance of toiletries and a pretty courtyard view--at least from the room we were in.
It's just that the Gallery is not design-forward like the Omm. Staying here is not an experience in itself but it's a perfectly good place to sleep for two nights.
This week we're taking a look at what's going on in Barcelona. We actually spent some time there a few weeks ago so we'll be dropping our own hotel reviews as well as news on the Barcelona Hotel Scene in general. Any questions? Send it our way.
If you're the type of person that likes to stay in trendy hotels in trendy neighborhoods--think Mercer Hotel in New York--then this hotel is an absolute must for you. You can even get over the location in the city's stuffy Eixample district.
When we were visited Barcelona just a few weeks ago, we spent our first night at the Omm Hotel, just off Passeig de Gracia in the Eixample district.
While the Eixample is a bit posh and some hotels there could be seen as stuffy, the Omm made us felt as if we were in Soho. Actually, our first reaction was this is the Mercer Hotel in Spain. But larger, with even better food than the Mercer Kitchen (the Moo restaurant is a multiple award-winner) and with a rooftop pool. Yes. A rooftop pool.
For now, you can check out the video tour we did of Room 207. Tomorrow, we'll have the play-by-play on our stay here.
We are suckers for a room with a killer view. We find that we are even more likely to forgive some minor hotel inconveniences if we can stare out the window at something pretty--yeah we are that shallow. Let's help out our fellow hotel mavens by uploading rooms with killer views to the HotelChatter/Flickr photo pool, or by sending the photo along to us. We will feature our favorites in this space from time to time. Remember to tell us the name of the hotel and the room number of the hot view.
Thanks to HotelChatter Flickr pool contributor kokkofish we've got this gorgeous Barcelona view today, looking towards one of Gaudi's crazily-designed buildings, the Casa Mila.
This killer view comes from the rooftop terrace of the Hotel Condes de Barcelona and we're pretty sure that street is where we also got to eat some really tasty tapas and in the mornings, sweet churros with our coffee. Just one street away from Rambla Catalunya, too, and a short stroll down to the Placa Catlunya, it's a nice part of Barcelona to hang out in, or even just enjoy the view.